Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Right to Apparel Choice... Muslim Veil

So what we were waiting for has happened:
the first woman in France for wearing a veil in public has been fined.
The apparel:  the niqab or burqa which covers all except the eyes.
It happened at a shopping center in the Paris suburb of Yvelines on April 11, 2011.
Fine: 150 Euros ($217).
Also, a small protest of 5 people took place in front of Notre Dame Cathedral,
led by French businessman Rachid Nekkaz, 
who offers to pay for these women's fines
through his newly formed association:
Association Touche Pas a Ma Constitution (Hands Off My Constitution).

Kenza Drider, a French Muslim of North African descent,
wearing a niqab at the Gare de Lyon railway station
in Paris April 11, 2011 (not woman fined)
(photo Jean-Paul Pelissier)

The French Government's website about this law declares:
"The French Republic lives with an open face."
(La République se vit à visage découvert.)


French government poster

I searched for statistics on burka-wearing persons committing crimes,
but I've been unsuccessful, so at this point, I can't see how
this law can protect others' Right to Security.

Being annoyed or uncomfortable with being only able to see a person's eyes
is not reason enough to take away people's Right to Apparel Choice.

This French law is not choice.

(see also:  The Right the Apparel Choice)

45 comments:

michelle said...

First off, If I were that woman, I would have told them: My Middle Finger salutes you.

Its so dumb how someone can get fined for wearing clothes. If you have a problem with it then look away. its called FASHION, get to know it. its someone's choice to wear what ever they want. Lady Gaga was dressed as an egg in the Grammys, did she get a fine for that? NO. let people wear whatever they want!

deltoroclaudia46 said...

The fine isn’t because they dress up weird it’s because the French think that is a safety hazard since they cannot see their face and think they can commit crimes and no one will know who she is. These women are being humiliated and treated unfair since the clothes they wear are a part of their culture. The French are being unrealistic and utterly unfair. They are being judgmental and cruel. These women should have the right to wear whatever they want and cover as much skin as they want! POWER TO YOU MUSLIM WOMEN!!!

Miglaude said...

I understand it is a way of life for them in many aspects. However, for me it is a sign of hiding yourself. They have to respect the law of France that said, “The French Republic lives with an open face” . Can you imagine somebody appears around you with a mask and you are unable to distinguish if it is she/he. It will be dramatic and insecure…

Esmeralda A said...

I think that it is not fair if someone decides to uncover themself should be an issue. Although in this case for religious reasons, they don't have this right. I still believe a woman shouldn't get fined or punished for that. EA

Nicole said...

The right to apparel choice is the right to express your self. The lady in France should not have been fined for her apparel choice. The women who walk the streets wearing close to nothing should be fined $217. Only the uneducated and ignorant will be annoyed or uncomfortable with only being able to see someone’s eyes. Have we ever stopped to think that maybe the feel uncomfortable with all the skin many of us show but you don’t see them walking around giving out fines.

-Nicole Chaplin-

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with Nicole. I think that the woman should not have been fined for covering herself and only showing her eyes. This reminds me of the Right to Ugliness. We often think that something that we do not see on a day-to-day basis is weird or wrong. But after a while of seeing the same thing our eyes become used to it. I am sure the French woman feels uncomfortable with people wearing barely anything. In this case I agree with the post. Someone’s Right to Apparel Choice should not be removed because someone else feels uncomfortable. -v.p.

Anonymous said...

I can understand the French Government as not wanting woman to wear a veil in public, they think that any person can put a veil and start killing other people as a terrorist attack. Remember that we are surrounded by crazy people out there. I think they should have more security in public spaces, but not fine them, or may be they should wear a veil not covering their whole face. Laura R.

Espy said...

This rule is so stupid. I wonder what they do for Halloween or for costume parties in France. I guess no one can wear masks. When governments have too much power, they come up with stupid rules like this. It makes me wonder if this was a law that was even voted for. Let people wear whatever they want as long as they aren't naked.

Anonymous said...

I believe that we have the right to apparel choice. Taking this right away, is like taking our freedom of speech; not allowing us to express ourselves. We should be allowed to wear whatever we please as long as we are not disrespecting others.

JR

Terrance Carter said...

This is the first time that I am completely in disagreement with the law of the land. Although, I do believe all laws are to be followed and if one chooses to disobey the law, then that individual should be punished. I am sorry, but we all have the right to obey the law of the land that we are in at any specific time. If the law is broken because of personal ignorance, then we(including myself) are at fault.

Anonymous said...

thats not right i'm glade the united states is not like that and we practice what we preach.

f.c.

Anonymous said...

So this is a tough blog. I agree with the right to apparel choice that is something I am totally for. But for the Right to Apparel Choice, Muslim Veil, I am sorry but I do not agree with. Yes these women have the right to express where they come from, to show who they are (not physically speaking), and what they believe in. but after certain incidents that have happened, people should understand that is the perfect cover up. Being all covered up the way they are does not show that the person is and what there intensions may be. It really does suck for the women who are hardcore to their country, but this is the sad true. We should see everyone’s face and see who were dealing with. I mean your face is an essential towards meeting the opposite sex. It has been proven that the face is what men/women pay attention to. It is the safety of the people before anything. We should respect everyone’s choice of apparel but under these circumstances, it is hard to amend.
-Shivani

tiffytiff305 said...

You get fined if you wear too little clothes; You get fined if you wear too much clothes. What is this world coming to?

daili7599 said...

I completely disagree with this law that they passed in France. The government has no right to tell a woman she can’t practice a certain part of her religion. There is no harm being done if your religion says that you have to dress a certain way or wear a certain thing, and you’re ok with it. To me this is an outrage.
-D.Diaz

Anonymous said...

President Nicolas Sarkozy's government defended [the ban] as a rampart protecting France's identity against inequality and extremism. (http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/04/11/2161407/france-bans-face-covering-islamic.html#ixzz1JYvAMhVg) While a burqa looks like an isolation cell to me (why/what do they hide and from whom?), I do not agree with a law to ban it. However, that is the prerogative of the French government, just as it is the prerogative of burqa supporters in France to oppose the law through whatever legal or political means are available to them.
Gabe

Anonymous said...

The French government is trying to create a false sense of security; by stopping these women from wearing niqab or burqa will not stop attacks. My personal opinion is that, the government does not want these people in France and they are just trying to make their lives difficult. Gary Norris

Aimara said...

I just wonder if Eskimos will been fined for covering their whole body, and sometime even their eyes with glasses.
Aimara Ors

luisa said...

I do not see why anyone should be fined for the type of clothing someone choices to wear. Clothing is still a representation of a person’s individuality. For the women who protested they stood up for their apparel choice, but if this French law is not banned more of these types of protests might continue. As for the French Government saying, “The French Republic lives with an open face”, should rather be living with an open mind, including apparel choice.
Luisa Isla

Rosa F. said...

Fines should be for people who commit crimes, not people exerting their right to apparel choice. Especially if that fine is $217. Seriously? --Rosa F.

ROB O. said...

This is a perfect example of denying someone the right to practice religion. France needs to amend their laws and look into being a little bit more tolerable of religion, especially when it comes to non offensive garments.

Anonymous said...

This may sound so...I can't even think of a good word to use except terrible, but lets be honest. In the world these days would anyone in the united states feel comfortable traveling in an airport or a mall, a school or a government center with someone who was covered up like this? People can wear anything they want but you will judge them no matter what. Some things make you uncomfortable and those innate judgements you cant control whether they CAN or cannot wear it.

surfershoes

Anonymous said...

I think it sucks of what happened to the lady who got fined in France for what she was wearing. Its a religious belief. The French government should not have been involved. They should have accepted her for who she is. That just makes you think how a government could be so ignorant.

Francisco A.

Janet Almonte said...

My views are several regarding this law in France and the right to choice of apparel. Our world has turned to so much controversy with so many ideals of what we all should uphold or not have to uphold. We are all so concerned that everyone is doing what they really want to do. What we all have forgotten is the sole reason why many countries have made such laws as not covering ones face. Did everyone already forget about all the women in countries in the Middle East where they have no right to show their faces and are governed by the law to cover their bodies completely from head to toe? If one asks a woman from one of these countries if they agree with these laws they will say that they do (not always) out of fear that their husbands will beat them out of shaming their households. Many of these women are miserable in those black head to toe garments with clothes underneath them in the intolerant heat of the Middle East. The governments from other countries try to intervene in protecting women from situation as these and instead become ridiculed that they are taking away rights from the people. What do people want then? Should we just leave everyone alone to do what they want? Should we let these women get beat up by their husbands for not obeying them? Or should we help them as the French are?
Janet

Anonymous said...

I think that the French Government is so scared of terrorist attacks that they have implemented this law. I am not agree with that law, but each government has the right to protect themselves.

Claudia B.

RV said...

I have to agree with this specific case because allowing people to be completely cover could lead to security issues. A criminal could pass as a covered woman because there is no way to tell people apart at this level of clothing.

Pedro said...

French Muslim women are being defended for wearing burqa by the Hands Off My Constitution association. Fining women for a 150 Euros caused a protest in Paris. The Muslim Veil that these French citizens wear are customary. Conditions in the Middle East are constricting the French Muslim population. French Muslims Right to Apparel Choice needs to be amended. P.L

Renata said...

It is understandable why the French government have this law. Now-a-days security is very hard to find, and having a person completely covered from head to toes and being completely unrecognizable can be very intimidating, also on top of that it can be extremely suspicious.I understand that the veil is part of a culture and it should be respected but I think that it is a law and it should be followed in first place. Moreover I disagree with this right because it is impossible to know the real intentions or the identity of the person using the veil, it can be a women or even a man that has bad intentions. Overall, it can be harmful and the French government has my support in banning this clothing.

Anonymous said...

Although this may seem as a way that the French government is trying to protect it's people, they may have overlooked the fact that some religions require women to wear this article of clothing. In this situation, that should be taken into account and the fine should be withdrawn.

Eddie M.

Anonymous said...

Attire, whether it be for religion or not, is a personal choice. A law that says you cannot where something because of security is crazy. In this particular case, as long as the person wearing the veil can respect that the face needs to be shown in certain circumstances, such as in airports, when taking a drivers license photo etc.. in the name of security, then I don't see a problem. LP

Anonymous said...

The Right to Apparel of Choice is the right to be free and express oneself. A person should not be fined and arrested because of the way they are dressed and because it makes others uncomfortable. These women are dressed according to their religion. I see it this way, Orthodox Jews woman have to wear long skirts and long sleeve shirts. It is inappropriate for them to wear anything that shows skin are we going to arrest them as well or may be not because they are showing their face. This is unbelievable. I can’t imagine what this world is coming to, if one cannot dress as their religion and beliefs tell them to.
MelB

Ingrid J. said...

We have to see with the French government that it is only for security reasons that such a law is implemented. There have been too many terrorist attacks carried out even by women and children. Who can you trust? When Islam can put religion first and human life second Hey!!!!!
When in Rome do like the Romans.

Patty. D said...

Is half and half, depending from where we want to address it. The Muslim has fame for terrorist, therefore the French Law is actually implementing security for the french community. So if the lady wants to adapt to the french society, she should have not wore that apparel. Also, no one should be fined for wearing "x" attire.
Patricia Delgado

Anonymous said...

I can’t believe that a country like France would actually take someone’s freedom of religion. It’s freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. I would like to know why people has any right to tell a woman what parts of her body they have to expose in public. E.S.

Anonymous said...

I think that as long as you wish to dress that way, you should have every right to. I understand where the French are coming from as far as the "safety hazard" issue goes, but really, how often do you find criminals dressed in veils ? -.- ... --KB

Anonymous said...

I do not agree with this French law. Muslim women wear the burqa due to their religious beliefs and it should be respected. Terrorist don’t hide like that, they have committed their crimes at plain sunlight. Therefore, I think this is an excuse from the French government. I believe everyone should have the right wear whatever they want, even if we don’t like it. GS

TrustMeImADoctor said...

Women should have the right to do whatever they want to their bodies. This include what they want to wear, if they want tattos, plastic surgery, maybe a better smile. I think the French government has really messed up on this law and will probably get whats coming to them. If I were a Muslim living in France I would be active in trying to change social policy. How can a country be okay with woman walking half naked and make such a fuss when a women decides to cover herself.

Rhonda said...

I believe that people should have the right to their apparel choice. Why should someone be arrested if they are dressed according to their religious beliefs? Do we arrest women for wearing miniskirts or blouses with their tits bursting out? Do we arrest men for wearing dresses and make up? It is an individual choice how they dress in my opinion, as long as they are not exposing themselves and offending others around them.

Luz Mery said...

I do believe that we all have a right to apparel. That no one should be arrested because of what they wear. But people should also consider that if certain countries have laws against certain attire then those laws should be respected.

lachinita520 said...

This right has to take into consideration religion and government. When someone travels to a Muslim country like the United Arab Emirates, as their government and religion it’s ones form of respect and courtesy to wear a Muslim Veil when in temples. Just as when a Muslim is in another country, the same etiquette should be portrayed. – D.T

Johana said...

I believe that people should have the right to their apparel choice.Women should have the right to do whatever they want to their bodies. This include what they want to wear.

Anonymous said...

The right to apparel choice is an individual right. The apparel may reflect your life style, your beliefs, and even your soul. You should have the right to choose the clothes that you wear and it should not offend anybody else. In the United States of America, the fine charged to the woman in France, would be grounds to sue the government under the Constitution and I don’t think it should be tolerated. Here in our own town we see Jews dressed-up and wearing their head cap called the kippah or kipa. That doesn’t offend me. I respect their beliefs and honor them for keeping their traditions. It tells me that they believe there is a God and how they chose to worship God is entirely their choice. By: L.B.J. R.

Anonymous said...

I personally think that the right to apparel choice is something that everyone must have. It is the way to express ourselves to the world and to become different from each other. It is our right to wear however we want to and tell the world who we are. If we get prohibited to that, where is the freedom?

H.D.A

Anonymous said...

If france doesn't step it up it will be too late before they make everybody else cover up and soon france will start to loose their own laws and rights to muslims since they have a law of their own every time they step foot in another land. Its not their country deal with it. For sakes we are born naked what is so wrong about just leaving your face showing. They are not asking you to show your arms legs or anything just your face! Am glad they are doing it.

Anonymous said...

France is probably the worst affected of all western nations by immigration, since it is on the brink of losing its European identity to the insistent Muslims increasing in numbers within French borders. As they grow in population, they come to believe they can impose the will of Islam on the French people, who seem rather unconcerned with the transformation.

With a population of five million Muslims, France is holding a tiger by the ears. The threat of violence from radical Islamic elements cannot be far from politicians' minds. Wherever there are large numbers of Arabs, there is crime and violence, particularly against women.

France should be seen as a cautionary tale of immigration run amok, and how quickly things get out of control. Muslim immigration to France is a post-war phenomenon for the most part: just of few decades of high immigration of a group with high fertility has put France in the unenviable position of being the European nation thought most likely to be the first to introduce sharia (Islamic) law.

— by Brenda Walker


so yea i agree with their decision.

Anonymous said...

Awoman should have the right to choose to wear a burqa; the question is if a woman, who lives under such a restraining culture, can be considered free if she chooses to wear it? Does a Muslim woman in this opressive culture lack a legitimate right and open state of mind to choose differently? And, given that she can appreciate a difference, why will she try to break the opressive cultural system that she and her ancestors were under for thousands of years at the high price of her own life?
Dowel